June 18th, 2009
Today the Supreme Court of the United States handed down their ruling in the case of D.A.’s Office for the Third Judicial District v. Osborne, finding that inmates are not constitutionally guaranteed the right to test evidence for DNA. In a 5-4 decision, the justices ruled against Mr. Osborne, a resident of Alaska. 46 states have laws allowing some inmates the right to post-conviction testing. Massachusetts, Alabama, Oklahoma, and Alaska do not explicitly allow the testing. The majority opinion, written by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., seems to have considered this as part of their ruling, reasoning that the matter should be left to state legislatures to consider.
Mr. Osborne was represented by Peter Neufeld, a co-founder of The Innocence Project.